Friday, 4 October 2013

Fiery ginger and lime cake

My lovely and talented husband has something to celebrate this week.  He's the art director and co-founder of the indie computer game company who launched the successful and critically acclaimed game Fallen London. It's a small company and they all work damn hard. Mr Hungry drew pretty much the entire game (and all their other projects) single-handedly. The four of them work more hours than anyone I know (apart from chefs, natch) and the modest success they have achieved so far is much deserved. When our friend Alexis first approached him about doing the art for this game he'd created I had these wild notions that we were all going to be overnight millionaires. It happens right? Games go viral and megabucks are made! It never did. I'm still in Guildford. The private island is on hold. But hey, he still gets to do a job he loves, creating something amazing. Drawing monsters and other really quite frightful things. Being adored by a loving, endearing (and somewhat obsessed) player-base.

This week marks the end of a very exciting month as they launched a Kickstarter to fund a new game. It's based in the same world as Fallen London and it turns out their players are just as excited by this as them. Not only did they absolutely smash their target but they powered through the first stretch goal as well. I'm so proud of all of them and to celebrate I made them this absolutely superb ginger cake. I've used the recipe on a number of occasions and changed it many times over the years. This is its current incarnation. Fierce, gooey, tangy and sweet. Perfect for warming the cockles as you sail the Sunless Sea.

So this is for Alexis, Paul, Liam and Henry. You boys rock. Congratulations. By the way, you really should check that last link out. They were drunk. It's hilarious.

Drinking rum at work. It's disgusting, really.

Ginger and lime cake 

  • 15g golden syrup
  • 50g treacle
  • 50g syrup from ginger jar
  • 125g butter
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar 
First line a round or square cake tin (approx 24cm) with grease proof paper and preset your oven to 180C. Place all these ingredients into a saucepan and melt on a medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to make sure everything is combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • pinch salt
Sift the above dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the combined sugars and butter to the bowl and combine thoroughly. I use my Kenwood but it's just as easy to do it by hand.
  • 5 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 inch knob chopped root ginger, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 230ml milk
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
Whisk all these ingredients in a large jug/bowl until the eggs are completely mixed in. Then gradually beat it into the cake batter until you have a lovely smooth, ginger colour. Don't add it all in one go or the batter can split. The resulting mixture is quite wet and liquidy. Now pour the batter into your pre-prepared cake tin and bake on 180C for approximately 45 mins. All ovens vary so make your first check after about 30 minutes. Use a squewer to see if the cake is cooked (it should come out clean and not with raw, sticky batter on it). Once fully baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cool enough to remove from the tin. Leave to cool completely before icing.

Zesty frosting
  • 170g unsalted butter (soft)
  • 500g icing sugar
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
Sift the incing sugar and beat everything together until completely smooth (by hand or with a food mixer) then spread over the top of the cake in a very thick layer ;-) ZING!

Chocolate brownies

Even when training you need a break every now and again. Maybe you are training hard and watching your nutrition. Or you might be using running as a balance to allow all those little treats. These brownies are the perfect way to reward yourself after a particularly hard run or during your rest week

These brownies are a firm favourite with my local running club and haven't come off our dessert menu where I work since the day I devised the recipe. Eat them cold with coffee or tea or heat them in the oven and serve with ice cream as a dessert.

Even if you're not coming to our race, these make a great treat for anyone. Take them to work for your colleagues or make them for your kids.The resulting bake is dense and gooey and just sublime. You can, if you wish, add a handful of nuts or chocolate chips to the mix just before you bake it, to add texture.

 Really Hungry's Chocolate Brownies.
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 270g 70-80% dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  1. Grease and line a brownie pan (any square dish that is approx 20cm x 20cm and 3cm deep) with grease proof paper. Preheat your oven to 180C
  2. Using a bain marie (a bowl over a pan of boiling water) melt your chocolate.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together (it's easier if the butter is room remp). Once smooth cream in the eggs, one by one.
  4. Thoroughly mix the melted chocolate into the creamed butter/sugar/egg mix
  5. Fold in the flour and the cocoa until fully combined
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared tray and smooth down until you have a fairly even covering
  7. Now place in your preheated oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes. I tend to check after 20 minutes. The resulting bake should be cooked through but not hard. If you stick a thin squewer or knife in the middle it should be fairly clean when it is removed (ie not covered in sticky chocolate goo).
  8. Leave to cool on a rack then chill in the fridge before slicing into the required size pieces.